THIS Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari joins a delegation of West African leaders on a trip to Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital, in an attempt to restore the interim government which was overthrown in a coup, last week.
It has been described as a ‘stupid coup’ and indeed it was! Elements of the 1, 300 person strong Presidential Guard, loyal to the ousted dictator/assassin, Blaise Campaore, had staged the coup, a few weeks to elections which were meant to conclude the transition process, following last October’s removal of the venal Blaise Campaore.
The coup leader, General Gilbert Diendere, was former Chief-of-Staff to Campaore. The members of the Presidential Guard were said to have been unhappy with the electoral law which had banned all those who attempted to elongate Blaise Campaore’s stay in power after 27 years of dictatorship. There were also plans to disband the Guard and integrate them into the Burkinabe Army. The Presidential Guard was set up in 1987 by Blaise Campaore, who came to power in the wake of the assassination of one of the most beloved African leaders, the charismatic Marxist officer, Thomas Sankara.
It was indicative of the anger and indignation felt by the Burkinabe people that they returned to the streets to protest the coup and even the national army and police retained loyalty to the interim government and the democratic process.
They marched on Ouagadougou and demanded an end to the coup and reinstatement of the interim government and the democratic process. That was the position of ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations. The Burkinabe people were however unhappy at the ECOWAS resolution offering amnesty to the coup plotters.
But the coup plotters stupidly refused to read the mood of the Burkinabe people and the African and world communities. Nobody will accept a coup d’etat as the path to power, especially one that might even pave way back to power for Blaise Campaore! No way.